Map of the Lightning Creek, Cariboo, 1875. Courtesy of UBC Library.

UBC Library, in partnership with the Legislative Library of British Columbia, has digitized the first 10 years (1876-1886) of the British Columbia Sessional Papers

The Sessional Papers are important provincial legislative documents that capture the political and cultural atmosphere of British Columbian history. The collection includes proclamations, annual reports, records of land sales, maps and more.

“The papers are an important record of B.C.’s history,” says Mimi Lam, Digital Projects Librarian. The collection offers insight into a dark period in history as well. A simple search reveals debates over the use of Chinese labour, and the “immense influx of Chinese” immigrants (see media below).

The digitization was made possible due to the BC History Digitization Program in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. “We hope to be able to continue the digitization to the next 15 years,” says Susan Paterson, a UBC Librarian and project sponsor.

“The BC Sessional Papers are a treasure trove of information about government, and other materials indispensable for our understanding of British Columbia’s past,” says UBC History Professor Robert McDonald. “Digitizing the Sessional Papers is a terrific project that I hope to see expanded to completion.” 

The British Columbia Research Libraries Group (BCRLG) includes the University of Victoria, University of Northern British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Legislative Library of British Columbia and University of British Columbia. The partnership libraries have worked together to provide access to these significant documents. The Legislative Library of B.C. provided the physical volumes that were digitized.

To explore the digital collection, visit UBC Library’s Digital Collections portal.




Order relating to Chinese immigration, 1883. 


Map of the Lightning Creek, Cariboo.” Pg 597. 1875


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